Major Requirements

Major Requirements

Students intending to major in African American Studies (AAS) should examine the requirements described below and consult the Program description in the Bates Catalog. In consultation with a Program advisor and with the Program director, they should discuss the appropriate course requirements in order to determine their plan of study.

A. The AAS major requires four specific courses:

Introduction to African American Studies (AAS 100)
Introduction to American Cultural Studies (ACS 100)
A course with a community studies component. This course should involve work in a community agency (4+ hours a week) as well as discussions of issues pertinent to American Cultural Studies. ACS 220 is designed to meet this requirement.
An interdisciplinary course (INDS 250) in interdisciplinary methods.

B. Majors must also choose six additional courses from courses approved for AAS in the catalog or registration material. These courses should primarily be at the 200 and 300 level. One of these courses should be cross-listed with African American Studies. Majors should plan to take at least one advance seminar course before starting thesis.


One of these six courses should study the African diaspora outside the United States, and another should focus on gender as an interpretive category. Finally, one of these six courses should take a cultural studies approach to the study of diverse experience in the Americas. Courses that fulfill this requirement include courses on Native Americans, Franco-Americans, Asian Americans and courses on Latin America.

C. A senior thesis, interdisciplinary in nature, is required for graduation in the major. The content of the thesis, as well as the methodology, style, and length, will be determined in consultation with your thesis advisor. Juniors should consult the AAACS Thesis Guidelines section of this website in order to be aware of upcoming deadlines.